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Bybit flagged as a suspicious crypto trading platform by the SFC

By:
on Mar 15, 2024
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  • SFC flags Bybit as suspicious crypto platform, warns of risky products.
  • SFC says Bybit is not licensed for regulated activities in Hong Kong.
  • Bybit’s Spark Fintech applies for SFC license.

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Bybit, one of the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, has been classified as a “suspicious” crypto trading platform by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong.

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The SFC has raised concerns over the operations of the crypto exchange and has gone ahead to issue a warning regarding the risks associated with certain products offered by the exchange.

SFC’s alert on the operations of Bybit

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The SFC updated its list of “suspicious virtual asset trading platforms,” adding Bybit to the roster.

A screenshot taken from the SFC website

The commission specifically identified 11 products offered by Bybit as suspicious, including futures contracts, options, leveraged tokens, and other investment products.

According to the SFC, none of the entities within the Bybit Group hold licenses or registrations to conduct regulated activities in Hong Kong, raising red flags about the exchange’s compliance with local regulations.

Nevertheless, a notable aspect of the situation is the distinction between Bybit’s entities. Bybit Fintech Limited, based in Seychelles, operates the website bybit.com and is the one that offers the flagged products.

Meanwhile, Spark Fintech Limited, a separate entity incorporated in Hong Kong, manages the website bybit.com.hk. It’s crucial to note that while Spark Fintech has submitted a license application to the SFC for operating as a virtual asset trading platform, the review process is ongoing.

Until the license is granted, Bybit’s operations in Hong Kong remain unauthorized from a regulatory standpoint.

Bybit’s response

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In a communication made to a prominent media outlet, Bybit responded to the SFC’s alert by stating that it cannot comment on specific products or regulatory inquiries at this time.

The company emphasizes that the listed products are not available in the Hong Kong market, suggesting that they are tailored to meet compliance requirements in different regions.

Overall, Bybit’s classification as a suspicious platform by the SFC underscores the importance of regulatory compliance in the cryptocurrency industry. It highlights the challenges faced by exchanges operating across multiple jurisdictions with varying regulatory frameworks.

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